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Iga Swiatek equals Serena Williams with 27-game winning streak and reaches Italian Open final


ROME — Not since Serena Williams seven years ago has another woman had such a hot streak in tennis.

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday to extend her winning streak to 27 matches and reach the Italian Open final.

Williams won the same number of consecutive games in 2014 and 2015.

Aiming to defend his title in Rome and win his fifth tournament in a row, Swiatek dominated eighth-placed Sabalenka with a mix of power, consistency and finesse.

While she sometimes struggled with her serve, the 20-year-old Swiatek managed to consistently smash forehand and backhand winners on the red clay court at Foro Italico. She also hit a tricky backhand half-volley winner in the final game of the first set.

Swiatek had the same number of winners and unforced errors, 15, while Sabalenka produced only eight winners and had 31 unforced errors.

The hard-hitting Sabalenka took a medical timeout late in the second set and had her back treated.

Swiatek, who was a surprise French Open champion in 2020 when ranked No. 54, will be the favorite to add a second French Open title when the second Grand Slam of the year begins next weekend.

First, however, Swiatek will face either Ons Jabeur – who is on a 10-game winning streak – or Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s final.

The men’s semi-finals on Saturday pitted Novak Djokovic against Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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